*3rd Person Perspective*
During the Gurguranor family reunion, a fat, wooden, 3-masted ship was slowly falling from the heavens. This was Celestial Transport Vessel 82, of the First Judgement Fleet. It was only slightly damaged, but needed to make an emergency landing approximately 10 miles north of Gator Brook, in a large clearing that was oddly ‘deforested’. There were large and small craters all around the barren patch of land, while most of the foliage and trees in the surroundings appeared slightly charred.
Two huge ramps fell from the sides of the ship, as hundreds upon hundreds of silver-armored soldiers marched down. Both men and women, all with glowing golden irises and either very pale-beige or very dark-brown skin. There was a decent disparity in height between each soldier, but for the most part, they were all between five and six feet tall. Some of them had small white wings sprouting from their backs, though they seemed small or malformed, only holding a symbolic purpose.
Once the square formation assembled itself in front of the vessel, exactly three thousand soldiers were gathered together into a single group. On the ship, there were still several dozen men and women, but none of them wore armor. They were dressed in white robes for the most part. Those were the Celestial Sailors, Priests and Navigators. All important jobs, but for the most part, they were non-combatants.
Five especially large figures, each seven to eight feet tall, were wearing golden armor and had huge white wings flapping behind their backs. Each of them took command of a 600 troop battalion, which separated into triangular formations. The five groups spread out and then started marching southward, as a golden-robed, four-winged man flew up above them and shouted: “We must press forward! We cannot allow our brothers and sisters to sacrifice themselves in vain! For the Almighty Lord in Heaven! For the Nephilim! For our families! We must persevere!”
He was fair-skinned, with the symbolic golden irises and silvery-white hair. Although he was fairly old, he only had a few wrinkles and scars on his chiseled masculine face. His facial hair was styled so that he only had a small goatee, while everything else was almost immaculately shaved.
This man was named Enrique Rodger Casey Fernandes the Third, a high-ranking Judge and the Captain of Celestial Transport Vessel 82. As a Level-6 Nephilim, he was supremely confident in his own capabilities. After all, this was his third Holy Judgement Crusade on Earth. Though such massive endeavours only occurred every hundred years and were always met with fierce resistance from the forces of Hell, he managed to survive and obtain many merits during every war. A century ago, he was only a Level-5 high-ranking officer, but he managed to ‘save’ over a thousand humans with his squadron.
Although their Mana-scans indicated that the city ahead only had about ten-thousand humans out of the million or so population, the more important thing was the quality, rather than quantity. After all, even the lowest Mana-Density in Heaven’s natural environment was about the same as the jungle they were currently marching through. Normally, the humans they Rapture from Earth, would be so weak that they would be forced to stay within the Holy Sanctum of Fertility for their entire lives. A lavish underground palace where their only real concern was mating with the ‘lucky’ Nephilim who earned enough merits to reproduce, essentially a fancy brothel where sex was treated more like a sacred rite, rather than a means of pleasure and enjoyment.
However, every human above Level-2 would be able to survive in a Level-3 environment. Which meant that they could marry high-ranking Nephilim, or simply live their lives freely in the Holy Citadel of Heavenly Majesty. An enormous metropolis, where basically the entire population of Nephilim was trapped on Mars. Yes, trapped. It was just a large prison, filled with many much smaller cages. Ironically, even though it was called Heaven, the majority of the planet was a wild, untamed, hellish jungle. With quite a few similarly dangerous oceans, tundras and deserts.
That was the consequence of a planet having ‘too much’ Mana: Chaos. Unbridaled and uncontrollable growth of all life, including microorganisms and viruses. Venus was similar, but far less severe.
Anyway, Judge Fernandes led his three thousand Level-4 to 5 troops to the south. Totally unconcerned about the potential resistance. His true fears, all stemmed from the inevitable interference from ‘Hell’. Whenever they made a move, countless humans would die, so the war could be lost without even giving Heaven a chance to fight back.
After marching a mile from their ship, high-pitched whistling noises started approaching from the air to the southeast. The powerful angelic man roared, “Incoming artillery fire! Turtle Formation!” In less than a second, every battalion was swiftly transformed from a square, into a circle. Not only that, but they all raised their shields, so that every direction was covered by those circular bucklers. Every shield had many runic symbols on them, which gave off a dazzling white light and transformed into a massive spectral turtle that protected everyone inside its enormous shell.
Only Fernandes stayed outside the protective barriers, as a thick-golden aura emanated from his body. Covering him from head to toe, including the giant wings, in a viscous barrier. Even if they looked down upon the ‘weaklings’ in Gator Brook, they still put their guard up very professionally.
However, those whistling noises came and went very quickly. A few seconds later, a few columns of red smoke rose up into the sky behind them. Five blue columns then rose up from roughly the same location in the distance, and it only took a moment for Fernandes to receive a telepathic communication from the High Priestess on board his ship: “Exalted Judge, our position has been marked by strange projectiles… What are your orders?”
The ship’s protective barrier was almost nonexistent due to the loss of power, while it was impossible for them to take any evasive action either. They needed to take cover or abandon ship, but while Fernandes was about to issue an order and staring over towards the smoke… The back of his head exploded. Then his face and entire torso burst into a blinding white light, as his legs dropped helplessly onto the muddy ground. His tattered wings slowly floated in the air for a few minutes, while the six battalions watched on in terror and confusion.
They feared that a ‘Level-7’ monster was nearby, waiting for them to let their guards down again. Thus, they wasted massive amounts of mana reinforcing their Turtle Formations, preparing to defend themselves at any time, while splitting up and scattering into different directions very slowly. Afraid that by staying so closely together, they would be easily annihilated.
* 3rd Person Perspective*
“Well done. Your marksmanship has improved…” A deep, masculine voice whispered into Beatrix’s mind as she stood up off the ground and rubbed her sore right shoulder. She was wearing a dark-green and brown ghillie suit, with grass, dirt and even vines tangled around her body. Some of which were actually moving and writhing. Of course, the 3 meter tall Dryadic armor was much more than just a camouflage method. It allowed her to operate a single-use, absurdly powerful magnetic railgun. The barrel was already broken apart, along with most of the mechanisms and features, due to the stress of that one shot.
Even though the weapon could literally fire the mithril-tungsten alloy projectile out of the atmosphere if necessary, it only had an ‘effective range’ depending on her own skills. She was only a mile away from the target, so even a Level-6 couldn’t react fast enough once she pulled the trigger.
There was a large indent in the ground around where Beatrix had been laying prone. While most of the trees were either burning or falling over. The location she chose was so far away from the enemy that it was impossible to have a ‘clean shot’ at any of the ground troops, but luckily enough, the commander was actually foolish enough to fly a hundred meters in the air.
“Commence bombardment.” After casually giving the telepathic command, the Dryad pulled a camouflaged bolt-action rifle from her back and disappeared into the dense foliage. There were no rustling noises or other indications of her presence. As if she blended into the environment completely. Due to the black-mithril mana-blocking capabilities of the exoskeleton, the dryadic armor was capable of being invisible to most magical scans. While the combination of Beatrix and her ‘partner’ Ares, made it impossible for that Level-6 ‘Judge’ to use telepathic means to discover the sneaky sniper.
Aside from Beatrix, there were dozens of other members of the ‘Judgement Corps’ that she led. Whether they were Rat Tribe, Red Goblins, Dark Dwarves or even Squirrel Tribe, every one of them appeared almost identical. They were essentially wearing a ‘Dryad’, which was covered in black-mithril armor, that was covered by a special ghillie suit for the most basic type of camouflage. Although they were spread out quite far from each other, everyone was constantly keeping in contact telepathically.
Meanwhile, the air was filled with a constant and eerie whistling. Then deep and thunderous ‘Booms’ rang out to the north. Artillery installations were bombarding that strange and dangerous transportation vessel. Although Ailyn wanted them to capture it if possible, Beatrix judged that there were far too many risks involved. They didn’t understand the technology the enemies used anyway, so there was no point wasting time on it. If there was anything left after a few hours of shelling, then the wreckage could be turned into useful materials.
“Hmmm, something’s wrong. Their auras are getting weaker… No, not weaker, but… Shit!” Ares, who was usually fairly calm and composed, suddenly shouted: “Order everyone to retreat! We don’t have time to deal with these weaklings! That little bitch is here!”
“All units, retreat back to Gator Brook.” Beatrix didn’t waste any time questioning Ares, since her instincts also noticed something seriously wrong with the surrounding environment. As the dozens of Dryadic armors suddenly stopped, they didn’t bother hiding any longer and started sprinting at full-speed through the jungle. Their disguises slowly were ripped off by the wind pressure and foliage that was hitting them occasionally. Eventually, they just looked like thirty-five very large black-armored knights, rushing at over a hundred miles per hour through the forest.
The ground rumbled violently, as the Mana-Density of the atmosphere started rising rapidly. Without the magical barrier to protect the Earth, obscene amounts of Mana Radiation was bombarding the atmosphere. In the night sky, the Moon seemed as if it was getting closer by the moment. However, it was actually drifting further away. The problem was that Luna had gone from a fourth the size of the Earth, to nearly twice as large, and it was still growing. There was a constant ‘astral river’ of pure white Mana connecting the center of Alfirin to the distant ‘planet’.
Although Terra was struggling with all her might, it was impossible to prevent any turbulence during the transition. Fortunately, Luna was always very calculating and cared quite a deal for the people, even just the non-sentient lifeforms on Earth, so she made sure to make preparations beforehand. All those ‘wounds’ on Terra’s surface, the Mana Wells that were torn asunder and repaired shortly afterwards, had already radically transformed the overall Atmospheric Mana Density of the entire planet.
Between every ‘Level’, the difference in Mana-Density was ten times. Which was why people started using decimals after their ‘Level’, since there were such huge differences. Level-0 was generally .1 to 1 MDQ, Mana Density Quotient. Level-1 was 1 to 10… Of course, although that was the density in the atmosphere, the density in a person’s body was much different and varied, often gathering in certain areas or forming super-dense crystals.
The problem lies in the way life forms react to the rapid increase or decrease in the Mana surrounding them. For some, they might go insane, even if their bodies can physically withstand the increased pressure from one Level to the next.
Level-2 was 10 to 100. Level-3, 100 to 1000. Level-4, a thousand to a ten thousand. Level-5, ten thousand to a hundred thousand. Level-6, a hundred thousand to a million. At Level-7, a million to ten million.
The numbers might seem absurdly large, but it really wasn’t that ridiculous since MDQ was calculated based on something akin to ‘particles’ of Mana. An average single non-magical human cell contains roughly 100 trillion atoms, and there are roughly 100 trillion of those cells in a human body.
In other words, even a million MDQ per cubic meter of atmosphere was still not enough for the Mana to condense the air itself into hardened Mana-Crystals… But that depended on how thick the atmosphere was, and various other factors as well. Similar to how the boiling temperature of water is far higher on Earth, than in a vacuum.
The problem is that as the Mana grows denser, training the body becomes easier and much more dangerous, while conjuring and controlling phenomena outside the body becomes far more difficult. In other words, Level-3 mages in Gator Brook would become almost useless, and the warriors… Well, there’s a reason why the Forth Ring of Lorthon was called the Forest of Corruption.
*3rd Person Perspective*
Although Beatrix wasn’t in Gator Brook, it’s hard to say that the city was ‘defenseless’. There was a common saying in the Third Ring: “There are no civilians in Beast Haven.” Essentially, everyone had either trained until reaching Level-3 or been born in the hellish jungle prior to Michael’s arrival.
However, it wasn’t completely true. After all, there were plenty of children that were too weak to fight. Most of the population was concentrated in the twin cities, Gator Brook and Ael Tol, but there were plenty of small villages that were slowly cropping up.
Yet, when the bubble finally burst and the atmospheric Mana density started to rise, the wiser and weaker villagers chose to immediately abandon their homes. They flooded into Gator Brook, Ael Tol and even Angren, through various modes of transportation, including teleportation-trees. Ael Tol had a massive pyramid barrier that could feed off the excess Mana in the atmosphere and cover the entire island in a dome-like shield. Angren was connected to the underground cities and the absurdly large tunnels that connected them together.
Unfortunately, Gator Brook was the exception. The city was fairly new and although there were tunnels leading down into the Earth, they weren’t nearly complete. The various bunkers around the town could only hold a hundred thousand people at most, and there were over a million in the city and surrounding areas.
As Tommy was almost finished eating his absurdly large meal, that’s when the ground started to shake and the tiny Pixie in front of him started to panic. The blue-skinned little girl fluttered her wings and screamed, “Get out of my head! Stop, shut up! No, no no! Ew, you nasty bitch, go back to Hell where you belong!”
Telestia coughed out a mouthful of black liquid and then fell helplessly onto the table, groaning in agony. Tommy stared at her blankly, then looked around at the other patrons of the restaurant. Some of the Pixie waitresses started growing extra wings or had horns erupting from their heads, others grew slender tails, with eerie black needle-like stingers emerging from the tips. Even then, the majority still managed to maintain their sanity.
However, the ones who lost their minds had either burst into flames, exploded into bloody fluorescent mist, or started attacking the nearest customers. Others, started moaning in pain, then pleasure, as they coiled their bodies together. Fusing into a single, conjoined Pixie Demon, which had the combined insanity of both the unlucky little girls.
“What’s happening?” Tommy frowned as an enormous Tiger Tribe man, twice his height, roared and charged towards him for no apparent reason. Then he got up and rolled across the floor, out of the way.
“The Goddess! The Morning Star! She calls to me!” Purple flames erupted from the tiger’s eyes, as a tiny pair of deformed hairless arms erupted from his abdomen. Crimson blood splashed all over the little boy’s face, but he remained surprisingly calm.
He let out a sigh and watched as the horrifying ‘monster’ used all four hands to tear apart its chest and rip out its own heart. The still-beating organ burst into flames as the man fell to his knees and breathed his last breath.
“It’s happening again…” Tommy grumbled, but didn’t leave right away. Instead, he walked over and gently picked up the crying blue Pixie on his table, then headed outside into the chaotic streets. He gazed up into the brightly lit sky and stared in wonder, at the stream of light that seemed to be coming from the unreasonably large ‘Moon’ in the sky.
However, the next moment, he saw something else. A familiar, beautiful woman, floating high in the sky. She had pink skin, like him, long black hair, golden irises and six enormous tentacles wiggling around behind her back. Yet there was something deeply and inherently wrong about the sinister smirk on her bright-blue lips… Well, that, and she was at least five hundred meters tall.
Once he shook his head and snapped out of the illusion, Tommy gaped in horror as he stared directly at the ‘face’ of the monstrous creature that was hovering above Gator Brook. It was essentially a mass of slimy pink tentacles, but at the very center was an enormous vertical orifice. Inside the quivering and slobbering ‘maw’ of the creature were countless glowing red eyes, while the engorged ‘bump’ at the top of the gooey hole was an androgenous smirking face. It had a shiny bald head, with dozens of relatively tiny horns, some of which were jutting out of its mouth like the long tusks of an orc. Although the features were soft and feminine for the most part, some were quite masculine.
As if it was a ‘tail’, there was a colossal dangling uncircumcised penis twitching and whipping around behind the ‘back’ of the strange monster. For that matter, all those tentacles had countless ‘orifices’ all over them, similar to the suckers of octopi. Some looked like beaks, others were humanoid mouths, the genitals of humans and other mammals, even some cloacas.
“Gaze upon me Mortals and worship the God of Lust! Bow down and submit to my majesty! For I have come, hehehe~, and so will all of you!” It sounded like millions of masculine and feminine voices blended together into a mind-rending cacophony of seduction… At least to those with weaker willpower.
People were fighting and dying everywhere around Tommy. He had no idea where to go or what to do, since bullets were whizzing around all over the place. Some people were firing artillery, rockets, and even just machine guns at the Devil in the sky. However, aside from crippling a few of those tentacles, no significant damage was done to the beast.
“Alicia, honey, I’ve got to say, I’m not really feeling your new look. I don’t wanna sound like a bigot or anything, but I think there should be a limit to the number of dicks and pussies attached to one body…”